When I first found out that I had cancer, I went through a mix of emotions. The first was the feeling of disappointment because of what I had planned out for my future. I was scared about what my future would hold. I had my senior year of high school ahead of me. Sports, relationships, graduation and planning for college. Was any of that going to happen now?

When you're was first diagnosed with cancer (like I was in 2006 with Leukemia), life changes as well as your emotions. It was a mixture of emotions over the first few months. Disappointment and worry were the first emotions to occur. Not knowing what a cancer diagnosis would entail, it became a journey into the unknown. Many family members and friends rally around you and this makes you feel like, “I got this.” You feel hopeful as everyone tells you, "you are strong and can beat this." 

The first diagnosis is always the hardest. Now, getting cancer a second time (2013 Oligodendroglioma and an Astrocytoma), you’re pissed, and you’re angry, no longer scared or worried. You want to yell but don’t know who or what to yell at. There is more of a "How many times do I have to beat it?" What more do they want to take away? What more do I have to adapt for the rest of my life?

Third time is the charm. Now they hit you with the big one: a terminal brain tumor, Glioblastoma (GBM). At this point I have already beat cancer twice, so round three it is. Yes, I am on round three, but I am more pissed than I have ever been. Go ahead, test my strength, my fight twice. But give it to me for a third time and have it be the worst? I think they are showing its might. Fight or flight no more. It’s all fight. All my chips are in. I’m more determined than ever to live.

I'm going on year three of this terminal brain tumor battle, and I feel more determined than ever. I will stand tall once cancer is gone. This 15-year cancer journey will end with me standing.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the movie Deadpool: “Life is an endless series of train wrecks with only brief, commercial breaks of happiness.”

Timothy Hoehnke, "Together, We Are Strong" blogger
About the Author

In June 2006, the summer before his senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). He graduated high school while going through his first year of treatment. As a result of two years of treatment with chemo, he needed to have his hips replaced. He fought the battle against ALL and won. Little did he know that his war against cancer wasn’t over. In May 2013, he was diagnosed with two brain tumors, Astrocytoma and Ogliodendronglioma. After a craniotomy to remove the tumors, he went through radiation. For five years Tim had regular checkups but he felt he had beat "the big C" again. Then, in May 2018 the brain tumor came back, but this time as a grade IV Astrocytoma or Glioblastoma (GBM). He is currently fighting this aggressive tumor with science, humor and fitness.

Amy Stueckroth

May God bless you Tim with healing and continued strength.

Amy Stueckroth

May God bless you Tim with healing and continued strength.

Joe Vitale

Tim, Been there, done that. I know your feelings and I admire your stand.
Non lasciarti abbattere dai bastardi. Stand tall. Stay tough. Stay well.